Square has announced that people over 13 years old can use Cash App to deposit and spend money or send it to friends. The app was previously only available to people aged 18 or older, and while minors will have to get their parent or guardians’ permission to use the app (and that parent-figure will have significant oversight), they’ll still be able to use some of the app’s most popular features.
Teens won’t be able to do just anything with Cash App, though — they won’t have access to the investing or Bitcoin features, despite Jack Dorsey’s passion for crypto, and Square says they won’t be able to deposit checks. That last one really feels like a missed trick, as I remember getting a lot of checks as gifts or payments for odd jobs as a teen. However, the app will give them access to the peer-to-peer transactions that made the app famous, as well as a customizable debit card they can use at real-life locations and support for Apple and Google Pay.
One of Square’s biggest competitors, Venmo, doesn’t allow people under 18 to use its service, though it’s reportedly testing a similar teen-oriented debit card. Cash App is far from the first to offer online banking or payment services to 13-year-olds, though: Apple Cash has a family option that you can use with Apple Pay (though there’s no physical debit card option), and there are a host of online banks that offer checking accounts to teens, complete with parental supervision. Child accounts are also often offered by more traditional banks and credit unions as well.
Still, Cash App’s popularity (especially on Twitter, also founded by Jack Dorsey) could help make it the choice for teens. Of course, teens aren’t the only people Square has to convince — minors still need their parent or guardian’s permission to use Cash App. After they get it, the parent or guardian will technically be the legal owner of the account (the teen will be an authorized user), and they’ll be able to see any transactions made.